Cultural appropriation is a reoccurring topic in the real world and more recently in the music industry. Just a few weeks ago Bruno Mars was put on blast by A YouTube account called The Grapevine where Sensei Aishitemasu said Bruno "takes pre-existing work and he just completely, word-for-word recreates it, extrapolates it."
The latest artist who is being cast as a culture appropriator is Major Lazer's frontman, Diplo. Rihanna once said that his music sounds like “reggae songs] at an airport” and it seems that she's not the first one to question his musical inspiration. In an interview with The Guardian, Diplo addressed the criticism where he was asked point blank where the line is when it comes to cultural appropriation.
“I might be too tired to answer that in a good way,” the "Worry No More" producer said. “I don’t...really...fucking care. What kind music am I supposed to make? Being a white American, you have zero cultural capital, unless you’re doing Appalachian fiddle music or something. I’m just a product my environment."
He further explains that when he travels to numerous countries while on tour, it's not just "business" to him. "I think to myself: ‘This place is changing rapidly. How can we help build it?’”
“When it comes to making music, understand that my intentions are always great. I’m there for the music only,” he continued. “I have a lot privilege by being a middle-class white American. So if I had to trade that by being considered exploitative, and people always saying negative things about me...it’s a small price to pay.”
Read his full feature here - what do you guys think?